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Antique Bayon Khmer Seated Bronze Naga Meditation Buddha

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Sculpture: Pre 1700: Item # 1488090

Please refer to our stock # 0623 when inquiring.
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An antique Bayon bronze style meditation Buddha from the 13th cent., seated on a three-tired throne, with the flaring head of a giant Naga, the serpent King Muchalinda, rising behind protectively behind.

His hands are in the Dhyana mudra, the gesture of Medtiation. The Buddha's face is serene, with a naturalistic and warm expression; his head is topped by a detailed ushnisha, in the Bayon style. The serpent is well rendered and symmetrical.

The throne is formed by the coils of the serpent. The story told here being that Muchalinda protected the Buddha from heavy rain. This iconography is typical of the reign of Khmer King Jayavarman VII (ca. 1181 to 1218 CE), who established a cult based around it.

A Mandala decorates rear of the Buddha, symbol of meditation and serenity.

In various spiritual traditions, mandalas can be used to focus the attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation. In the Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Shinto it is used as a map representing deities, or especially in the case of Shinto, paradises, kami or actual shrines.

A mandala generally represents the spiritual journey, starting from outside to the inner core, through layers.

The statue is cast in the round, rather than as a relief on a stela. From this, we can infer that Khmer sculptors would have desired their artwork to be viewed from all sides and thus placed in the center of temples rather than against a wall. While this artwork was religious - priests supervised its execution - its realism is unmistakable.

The Buddhas hands are in Dhyana Mudra, the hand gesture that promotes the energy of meditation, deep contemplation and unity with higher energy. This traditional in appearance piece is sure to add serenity to your home, office or sacred space.


A. Reinhardt, Khmer Sculpture, 1961, fig. 22 (K), p. 46.

J. Boisselier, 'Khmer Sculpture', book review, Artibus Asiae, vol. XXV, 1 (1962), p. 86 [22 (K)], confirming late 12th/early 13th century date. S. Lee, Ancient Cambodian Sculpture, 1969, fig. 54, p. 92.

A. Le Bonheur, 'Sherman E. Lee, Ancient Cambodian Sculpture', book review, Artibus Asiae, vol. XXXIII, 3 (1971), p. 241 [54.], arguing against an identification as Bhaishajyaguru.

Good antique condition.

Size: 43 cm high

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